Decoration or life saving food . . . ?

Want stronger bones, healthier skin, reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, lowered blood sugar levels, reduced symptoms of arthritis, cleaner cells, stronger immune system or more energy?

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Want stronger bones, healthier skin, reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, lowered blood sugar levels, reduced symptoms of arthritis, cleaner cells, stronger immune system or more energy?

One cup of this food contains over 10 times the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of Vitamin K, the vitamin used to synthesize the protein that strengthens the composition of our bones and helps prevent atherosclerosis by removing calcium build-up in our tissues as well as regulates blood clotting and blood sugar levels. It’s so powerful people on heart medications are usually warned to watch their intake of this food because it can counteract with their medications.

That same cup contains over 80 per cent of our Vitamin C RDA as well as other immune boosting antioxidants such as caretanoids and over 45 different flavanoids which protect our cells from free radicals, harmful bacteria, and toxins, which we all know we can’t get away from.

Not only that, but it’s full of glucosinolates, which has been shown to prevent cancers of the colon, breast, prostate, ovarian and bladder.

Basically, this stuff is really “good for you” and we need to eat more of it. So if you haven’t already heard of it, allow me to introduce you to one of my favourite foods, kale. I love this stuff so much I named my last puppy after it — Kaley.

You’ve probably passed it in the grocery store by the other leafy greens. And then you’ve probably walked right on by it because it’s too “green” or “weird” or doesn’t look like something that would taste good and you have no idea what you would possibly do with the stuff. The ladies at the grocery store thought I was buying it for decoration, which for it’s often used, especially as garnish at some fancier restaurants.

Just eating this cruciferous vegetable plain is quite disgusting for the first timer I will admit. So you have to learn to dress it up a bit. And it doesn’t need much.

I typically throw a half cup in my smoothies. But the real fun thing to do with it is to sautee it lightly with some garlic, ginger, and a splash of tamari soy sauce.

Or massage it with a teaspoon of sea salt for about five minutes after you’ve taken off the stem so it gets nice and wilty looking and drizzle a little olive oil and lemon juice on top. There are tons of recipes online for some great salads.

Or another great way to prepare it is to massage the top with olive oil, garlic, or sprinkle of parmesan and throw them in a dehydrator over night or in the oven at 350F (175C) for 15 minutes to make yourself a batch of kale chips. They are nice and crispy and people love them. You could add apple cider vinegar and fresh dill, or just sea salt and olive oil and perhaps add some cayenne to spice them up. Now you can go ahead and add a bunch to your shopping cart.

Ryan’s Sesame Kale Recipe!

1/2 bunch kale

1 tsp sesame oil

½ tsp tamari soy sauce

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

De-stem kale and roughly chop. Preheat pan on medium-high heat with sesame oil and flash fry briefly until kale is richly dark green (not too much or you destroy the nutrients). Three to five minutes.

Garnish with tamari and sesame seeds and serve.

Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a registered holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Wednesday. She can be reached at kristin_fraser@hotmail.com